10 Tips for Traveling Smart as a Senior

By Kara Foxx – June 19, 2021

As you begin nearing retirement age, the travel bug may begin to hit. There are so many places you’re bound to want to see, from the beauty of the Grand Canyon to the grandeur of Machu Picchu. While you’ll surely want to make the most of your retirement years, it’s important to properly prepare prior to any trip. 

1. Make sure to bring needed medications and documents

If you take daily medications, make sure to have the right amount you’ll need for the trip, in addition to a few, extra doses in case something happens and you can’t make it home before you’re out of the prescription. Depending on where you’re traveling to, it might be impossible to get your usual medications, so make sure to think ahead.

Furthermore, make sure to have all of your travel documents in order before you leave home. This can include your ID, transportation tickets and passes, your passport, hotel/lodging confirmation and more. While you can have physical copies of these, but you can also store them in a digital folder within your preferred cloud storage.

2. Prepare your home before you leave

Home break-ins happen, especially when people leave for vacation. But your home doesn’t have to be left unsecured when you leave. Through a variety of methods, you can protect your home before heading off on your vacation.

Simple tips include the following: 

  • Moving expensive-looking items away from windows, wherever they can be easily seen
  • Ensuring all doors and windows are locked, and that all locks are in good condition
  • Storing high-price items and heirlooms in an in-home safe for enhanced security
  • Installing outdoor and indoor security cameras around your home, either to deter criminals or capture them on camera

3. Keep your schedule open

Once you’re out traveling, one of the best things you can do is to keep your schedule open. While you may pencil in a few tours of sightseeing events, try to keep your itinerary flexible.

Why flexible? It’s important to listen to your mind and body while vacationing. Overscheduling may lead to feeling over fatigued. Make sure to book tickets that can be refundable, or opt for a relatively open itinerary while traveling.

However, with a flexible schedule, you’re able to shift and move your days to how you see fit. Want to go for a hike and do some sightseeing? Go for it! Feeling tired one morning and want to just do some window shopping and enjoy some cocktails in a courtyard? Do just that! 

4. Wear an ID bracelet 

One thing to keep in mind, prior to traveling, is to get yourself a medical alert bracelet. If you don’t already have one, now is the time to get one.

What is it about medical ID bracelets that make them so important? Depending on any condition you have, it could bring about regular challenges in your life, whether it’s diabetes, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s or heart disease. In the event that you have a medical emergency caused by a pre-existing condition, a medical ID bracelet makes it easy for bystanders and EMTs to identify your condition and act accordingly, administering treatments based upon your physical/mental health. 

5. Get travel insurance

Before you head off, consider applying for travel insurance. Although the price can appear to be steep, it’s worth it — depending on where you’re traveling to. For instance, if you’re heading abroad, it’s helpful to have insurance for medical purposes. Furthermore, it can be essential to protect your personal goods in the event of loss or theft. 

6. Know where you’ll be traveling

This might sound too on the nose, but it’s something that needs to be considered. While there is a joy to traveling to a place without much forethought, it’s important that you plan ahead. This means getting an idea of the local culture, picking up basic language and euphemisms, getting an understanding of the city layout, learning the basics of public transportation and more. 

You’ll also want to look into what things to avoid. That includes behaviors to avoid, signs of pickpockets and neighborhoods that are unwelcome to strangers. 

 7. Don’t be out too early or too late

You should never be out too late or too early in an area you’re unfamiliar with. This is important for some seniors, particularly those who are struggling with confusion and early signs of Alzheimer’s. Low-light conditions can make it difficult to identify your surroundings. Furthermore, it can make you more of a target to thieves hoping to prey on someone who appears unfamiliar with the area.  

8. Bring a friend 

For many people traveling, you’re sure to be traveling with a friend, spouse or loved one. However, if you are thinking of traveling alone, consider having a buddy tag along. Even if you do your own thing during the day, it’s important to have someone you can touch base with, in-person, to remain safe. Moreover, you’ll have a companion who will be a comfort if you ever feel homesick. 

9. Have someone at home you can keep in touch with

Even if you travel with a friend or family member, it’s smart to have someone at home you can touch base with. It’s important to have a landline you can reach out to, someone who can confirm — to others — that you’re doing well. You can equally reach out to them if you’re ever in need of help, whether that’s due to a medical emergency or an issue with your flight plans. 

 10. Travel as your body can handle it

Most of all, you need to listen to your body. As mentioned above, keeping a flexible schedule is important as it allows you to make your schedule work for you. Don’t push yourself past your point of comfort. You’re only asking for an injury or a medical emergency if you do. 

About the Author

Kara Foxx serves as the content producer for ROAD iD. Kara oversees customer stories, blog content, ambassadors and social media from the Covington, KY office. Before joining ROAD iD, Kara was a content creator and social media manager for FOX 19 WXIX in Cincinnati, OH. She loves her dog and the Great Outdoors.


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